WOODSTOCK — Voters approved an amendment to the Dog Control Ordinance at the annual town meeting Monday, requiring kennels, rescue shelters or similar facilities applying for a license or permit to notify abutters.

After moderator Steve Wight read the question, resident Jane Chandler asked the Board of Selectmen why the town was attempting to institute the amendment.

“We had a situation in town that made some neighbors very uncomfortable,” Town Manager Vern Maxfield said. “It was quite unpleasant, and it forced the town to come forward and deal with it by amending the Dog Control Ordinance.”

Chandler asked if the amendment would prevent dog kennels or rescue shelters from coming to town if someone had a problem with it.

“No, it doesn’t stop them from moving in,” Maxfield said.

Another resident asked if abutting landowners could make a formal complaint to the state if they had a problem with a dog kennel or rescue shelter moving in next door.


“My guess is that you could do something like that,” Maxfield said.

Residents also voted to raise and appropriate $14,235 for the Planning Board, the Appeals Board, the Conservation Commission, the Code Enforcement Officer and the Maine Municipal Association.

One resident asked why the code enforcement officer line item decreased from $13,000 to $8,000.

Maxfield said the town switched from a part-time to an on-call officer.

“We’re sharing Bethel’s code enforcement officer right now,” Maxfield said. “His name is Jeff Warden, and he’s been very willing to step in and work per hour and for mileage.”

“Is he going to be able to handle both towns?” one resident asked.


“That’s what we’ll find out this summer,” the town manager said. “Right now, it’s going very well. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Voters also approved two articles that would give a 2 percent discount to residents who paid taxes in full within 30 days from the date of mailing, and to raise and appropriate $34,000 to cover discounts and abatements.

Selectman Stephen Bies said the discount program is a “pet peeve” of his.

“This particular program works well for towns with cash flow problems,” Bies said. “This town has no cash flow difficulties. It doesn’t really seem to serve a public purpose. It serves me, because I pay my taxes on time, but I still think that it’s not necessary. Also, some people don’t realize that the article about approving $34,000 is related to the 2 percent discount article. I wouldn’t complain if someone made a motion to amend both articles to zero.”

However, residents overwhelmingly approved both articles.


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